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Opening an everyday banking account in Australia

If a move to Australia is on the cards for you (or perhaps you’ve already moved), one of the first things you’re likely want to get sorted is your banking.

Like all countries, banking in Australia has its own unique terms and these can be confusing if you’re new to it. To make it easier to get your head around, here’s the rundown on our everyday transaction account – Westpac Choice.

Westpac Choice – your everyday transaction account

You’ll likely need an account when you move to help manage your day-to-day banking. In Australia, this type of account is known as a transaction or everyday account (in other countries it might be known as a current account or checking account).

Transaction accounts are designed to give you easy access to your cash – it’ll typically also be the account you transfer money into, or if you’re working it’ll be the account your employer would likely pay you into. Westpac’s Choice transaction account also comes with a linked debit card that you can use for online shopping. 1

Why choose a Westpac Choice account?

Our Westpac Choice transaction account is an everyday bank account with features designed for people moving to Australia or who have recently arrived. With a Westpac Choice account, you can:

 

  • Open your account online up to 12 months before you arrive
  • Transfer money from anywhere in the world2
  • Westpac’s Fraud Money Back guarantee ensures that customers will be reimbursed for all unauthorised transactions.3
  • Use a Debit Mastercard® linked to your Choice account to shop securely online, access cash at ATMs and use PayPass to Tap and Go™ on purchases under $100.
  • Access an extensive ATM network at home and overseas – Pay no ATM withdrawal fee at over 3,000 Westpac Group ATMs in Australia and over 50,000 ATMs globally via the Global ATM Alliance4.
  • Manage your money on the go with award winning mobile banking – Westpac live was ranked #1 Mobile Banking app in the world in the Forrester Research 2016 Global Mobile Banking Functionality Benchmark
  • Enjoy unlimited electronic transactions.

What about account fees?

The good news is as a special welcome to Australia for new arrivals, if you open an Australian bank account before you move to Australia or within 12 months of your arrival, we’ll waive the $5 monthly service fee for the first 12 months. And for full time tertiary students studying in Australia we offer $0 monthly service fee on the Westpac Choice account for the duration of your studies in Australia.5

Banking goes digital …

There’s more to your Westpac everyday account than place to keep your money. Here are some of the other features you’ll get to help you manage your money on the go.

 

  • Cardless cash – if you have a debit card that is linked to a transaction account, a feature of Westpac Mobile Banking that allows you to withdraw cash from Westpac Group ATMs without using a card or get cash to others by sending them a cash code to use6
  • Android Pay™  – make purchases by simply tapping your Android powered mobile at a contactless terminal
  • Pay to Mobile – a secure and convenient way to split a restaurant bill, pay for tickets or send money to friends – all you need is their Australian mobile phone number and for them to have an Australian bank account to receive the funds. And if you’re a Westpac customer, you can use Pay to Mobile to receive payments which are paid straight into your nominate Westpac account.
  • Fingerprint login – sign in to Mobile Banking simply and securely with just your fingerprint on compatible devices.
  • Card on Hold –misplaced your card? Temporarily lock it while you find it via your Westpac Online or Mobile Banking account. 7

What about transferring money?

  • Once your account is open, you can deposit money into your account by using international payments
  • Register for online banking and easily transfer money back to friends and family
  • You can withdraw funds once you complete an identity check from our overseas offices  or once you arrive in Australia.

How easy is it to open a Westpac Choice account?

  • Opening up a Westpac Choice account is simple:
  • You can set up your bank account up to 12 months before coming to Australia, or once you’ve arrived
  • No Australian address needed when opening from overseas prior to arrival
  • Open an account in 3 minutes and you’re on your way to depositing money into your account.
Things you should know

1. Customers must be 16 or older and have an Australian residential address to be eligible for a Debit MasterCard®. If you’re not eligible, you may be offered a Handycard to access your account.

2. The Westpac Foreign Transaction Fee is payable and will be incorporated into the $AUD transaction amount shown on your statement. The fee charged will either be: a) 3% of the $AUD transaction amount where a transaction is made in foreign currency and the merchant or financial institution accepting the card is located outside Australia (comprising of 2% Westpac Processing Fee plus 1% Westpac On-Charged Scheme Fee); or b) 2.2% of the $AUD transaction amount where a transaction is made in foreign currency and the merchant or financial institution accepting the card is located in Australia (comprising of 2% Westpac Processing Fee plus 0.2% Westpac On-Charged Scheme Fee).

3. Westpac Fraud Money Back Guarantee ensures that customers will be reimbursed for any unauthorised transactions provided that the customer has not contributed to the loss and contacted Westpac promptly. Refers to the cards’ terms and conditions for full details, including when a customer will be liable.

4 Other fees may be payable. A 3% Westpac Foreign Transaction Fee applies to overseas debit or credit card withdrawals. A 2% cash advance fee applies to credit card withdrawals where the ‘credit’ option is selected. A list of Global Alliance members is available at westpac.com.au/unstoppableyou.  Excludes American Express® cards.

5. $0 monthly service fee (other fees may apply) whilst you are a full time tertiary student or under 21. Drop into any branch with your full time tertiary student ID to enjoy the $0 monthly service fee. If you are under 21 the $0 monthly service fee is automatically applied until you are 21.

6. Get up to $500 per day and a maximum of $1000 per week , subject to account daily maximum limits. Only available at Westpac ATMs in Australia.

7. Available on personal credit and Mastercard® debit cards only. Cards to which a temporary lock can be applied will be listed when you sign in to Mobile Banking or Online Banking and visit Lock a card temporarily under Cards services. Daily and weekly limits apply. See Westpac Emergency CashTM and Westpac Get CashTM Terms and conditions for details.

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